Tattoo artists share 6 designs everyone will want this year, and 2 that'll be less popular

Tattoo artists share 6 designs everyone will want this year, and 2 that'll be less popular
Tattoo artists have noticed several designs becoming more popular this year.Alvaro Medina Jurado/Getty Images
  • Tattoo artists weighed in about which designs they expect to be more and less popular in 2022.
  • Colorful tattoos and minimalistic designs are having a major moment this year.

Insider spoke with tattoo artists to find out which designs will be popular throughout 2022, and which are becoming less common.

There's a growing interest in colorful tattoos

Tattoo artists share 6 designs everyone will want this year, and 2 that'll be less popular
Colorful tattoos require proper care and maintenance to stay bright.George Dolgikh/Shuttershock

Tattoo artist Lorena Lorenzo of Indigo ArTattoos told Insider she's noticed more requests for colorful body art.

"This year, I have been seeing a lot of colorful projects coming in, which I am surprised to see as clients in past years would tend to go for black-and-gray tattoos," Lorenzo said.

She added that she thinks this is the result of more clients seeing bright, bold tattoos that haven't faded, which can be achieved with proper care and maintenance.

Spiritual tattoos may be popular requests

Tattoos associated with spirituality and beliefs often have an added layer of significance, and they may be even more prominent this year, according to Nic El, a tattoo artist and the owner of Gorilla Tattoo Paphos.


"Spiritual tattoos — hamsa, mandala, chakra, tree of life, Buddha, lotus, etc. — is a trend that took over 2021, and it's definitely sticking around for 2022," he said. "They hold a sacred significance, reflecting on people's needs for positive energy and optimistic thinking."

Specifically, mandala designs with intricate details are trending

Mandalas are geometric designs that hold spiritual significance in Hindu and Buddhist practices, and Lorenzo said they are becoming a more popular request.

"I continue to see more and more clients coming back for more dot work and mandala tattoos," she said. "They love the decor and all the details that these pieces have incorporated."

Occasionally, the details in these tattoos can bleed together, so be sure to find an artist who has experience with this style. Clients should also be mindful of the design's cultural significance.

Clients are still asking for minimalistic tattoos

Tattoo artists share 6 designs everyone will want this year, and 2 that'll be less popular
Smaller tattoos are easier to cover.MDV Edwards/Shutterstock

Delicate and discrete tattoos have been popular for years as people seek ways to keep their body art hidden. Lorenzo told Insider that this trend is already continuing into 2022.


"I have an equal amount of requests for more delicate, small, and minimalistic tattoos that can be more discrete, and people love them," she said.

Lorenzo added that she's noticed more people requesting "linework tattoos with less shading," so the strokes must be "impeccable and sharper."

Hyperrealism will likely stay popular

Tattoos featuring impressive details and realistic artwork are popular for their beauty — and tattoo artist Gianna Caranfa, the owner of Bee Inked Parlor, said they'll continue to be big this year, no matter the design's focal point.

"Hyperrealism will always be popular," Caranfa said. "Realism designs and imagery that are popular include animals, clocks, compasses, nautical, religious imagery, and portraits of humans and animals."

These tattoos can be time-consuming to design, so keep that in mind when reaching out to artists.


Traditional-style tattoos continue to intrigue clients

Caranfa told Insider that traditional-style tattoos with bold lines, bright colors, and stereotypical designs will "never die."

"There are so many images to choose from in traditional imagery, from an eagle tattoo, lighthouse, clipper ship, panther, pinups, and so many more," the artist explained.

This versatility and the traditional bold lines keep the style timeless.

On the other hand, tribal-inspired designs aren't expected to be as common in nontraditional contexts

Tattoo artists share 6 designs everyone will want this year, and 2 that'll be less popular
Tribal tattoos are sacred in several cultures.MattLphotography/Shutterstock

Tribal designs use negative space — or skin, in this case — to create art between dark lines.

Often inspired by Polynesian and South American art and tattoos, these designs can be sacred to certain cultures, so clients should be mindful of their meanings and extensive history.


Some artists have seen this style becoming less popular in nontraditional contexts. Caranfa told Insider, "I would personally say any tribal design would be the least common tattoo in 2022."

Full-blown portrait tattoos are becoming rarer

According to tattoo artist Lisa Doll, inking faces of family members and inspirational human beings is becoming less popular.

"A lot of the public is likely starting to understand that something as nuanced as a loved one's face on your skin requires touch-ups every five to 10 years or so to keep it looking new," she told Insider.

The artist added that UV rays or skin health and aging can affect the portrait's quality over time, so without regular touch-ups or the ideal "skin lifestyle," these designs can fade and look "less than stellar."